GreatFlorida Insurance - Jim Sullivan - Clearwater Insurance

Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Clearwater, FL

Jim Sullivan, Agent

727-781-5533

2488 Curlew Road
Clearwater, FL  33761
Fax : 727-781-3595

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Homeowner's Policy Coverages

A Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policy is designed to cover the structure of your home, and includes protection for various kinds of Personal Property as well as Liability coverage. Want to know more? Give us a call at 727-781-5533 to speak to a local agent.

Home Insurance Coverage — What Is Covered

Standard home insurance coverage policies provide the following types of coverage, up to the limits outlined in the policies:

  • Dwelling — Pays for damage or destruction to your house and any unattached structures and buildings. Examples include fences, attached garage, or patio cover.
  • Personal Property — Covers the contents of your house, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
  • Liability — Protects you against financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.
  • Medical Payments — Covers medical bills for person(s) injured on your property.
  • Loss of Use — Pays for additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Most standard Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policies pay 10% to 20% of the amount of your Dwelling coverage.

Does my policy cover hurricane damage?

Yes, your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages cause by windstorms. The deductible for hurricane damage can range from 2% to 10% of the insured value of the dwelling depending on the policy.
NOTE: Hurricane damage is normally covered, but may be rejected in certain situations.

What does the hurricane deductible mean?

This is the amount that you, the policyholder, will have to pay out of pocket. For example, if your home is insured for $250,000 with a 2% wind deductible and has hurricane damages of $50,000.
The amount of the deductible will be 2% X $250,000 = 5,000.

The remaining amount ($45,000) would be paid by the insurance policy. What factors can affect Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premiums?

Home Features and Characteristics — The age of your home, type of structure, wiring, roof, garage, etc., can affect your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium. Older homes can often cost more to insure, and those costs can differ depending on whether your home is brick, frame, stone or has synthetic siding.

Location — Where your home is located can change your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium. For example, your home insurance rate can be affected if your home is in close to a fire station; is exposed to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes; or is in a neighborhood more prone to theft.

Protective Devices — Burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium.

Personal Factors — What you do can affect your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance premium, too. For instance, smokers may pay more for home insurance than nonsmokers. A good credit history also can lower what you pay for home insurance.

Claims History — If you have a history of claims on a Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policy, you may pay a higher premium.

Discounts and Special Programs

There are many discounts are available on Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policies. For example, you may qualify for a discount if your home has an updated roof, a monitored alarm system, hurricane shutters or impact windows in Clearwater.

Payment Options

In many instances your Clearwater Homeowner's Insurance policy can be escrowed in with your mortgage. However, if you need to pay separately, many carriers now offer several convenient payment options.

Does my policy cover floods?

The fact is that Florida homeowner insurance does not cover damage caused by flood, and federal disaster assistance is only offered when the president declares a major disaster (which only happens in 50% of flooding situations).

Unfortunately, most people do not find this out until it is too late. However, flood insurance is available to protect homes and businesses and their contents in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Simply call 727-781-5533 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Home Insurance Agent will help you find the best deal for you.

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About Homeowner's Insurance in Clearwater, FL

GreatFlorida Insurance agents can easily explain the specific needs of your home in Clearwater, FL. Along with mortgage requirements and the difference between dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments and loss of use coverage as well as available discounts.

Get a Free Insurance Quote from your local GreatFlorida Insurance agent. They will help you find the most affordable options.

Your home is likely your most costly asset. It contains your belongings and valuables and more importantly your family and cherished memories.

After the overwhelming task of finding a new home in Clearwater, it can be tempting to settle by purchasing a basic homeowner’s insurance policy that could leave you with inadequate coverage or paying for more coverage than you need.

GreatFlorida Insurance in Clearwater, FL will make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide adequate coverage to protect your home from fires, hurricanes, break-ins and more. Compensation for your financial loss will allow you and your family to continue living comfortably.

Florida Homeowners  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/18/2018

2018 Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22. The theme for this year’s Earth Day focuses on ending plastic pollution. Single-use plastic is believed to be the biggest source of trash in and around water worldwide.

We use plastic everyday- plastic bags, toothbrushes, water bottles, product packaging. It’s hard to go a day without plastic,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

Some alarming statistics about plastic include the following:

2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour in the U.S. (Recycle Across America)

8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year (Recycle Across America)

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the world’s largest collection of floating trash has grown to 600,000 square miles, twice the size of Texas. (Scientific Reports)

According to the website, Earthday.org, plastic poisons and injures marine life, disrupts human hormones, litters beaches and landscapes and clogs our waste streams and landfills. The movement is hoping to inspire and inform people into changing their attitude about plastics.

So, what can one person do to make a difference? Below is a list of suggestions to help you reduce the use of plastic.

Carry your own reusable shopping bags to the store.

Stop buying bottled water, carry a reusable water bottle.

Use a refillable mug at the coffee shop, you can even get a discount for it.

Say “no” to straws.

Checking your packaging. When possible, choose paper packaging over plastic, such as a box for pasta rather than a plastic bag.

Trade in your disposable razor for one you that you only must switch out the blade.

Change up your food storage. Instead of using plastic baggies or plastic wrap, try mason jars, bento boxes or glass containers.

Recycle

“Doing something is better that do nothing,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

If we all try and make one or two changes to our plastic use, collectively, we can make a difference. Consumer choice speaks loudly.

 

 

 

The post Trashing the ocean appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/11/2018

Spring is an ideal time to list your home for sale. But before it is listed on the market, be sure it is attractive to buyers. According to survey by the National Association of REALTORS, most real estate professionals estimate staging increases the sale price of a home anywhere from 1 to 15 percent.

“It doesn’t always take much to make your house more appealing,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Staging your home does not require hiring a company. It can be as simple and inexpensive as some sweat equity from the homeowner. Setting aside some time to make small improvements will pay off in the long run.

Boost curb appeal– The exterior of your home is the first impression, make sure it is a good one. Real Estate website Zillow, has some recommendations on making a warm welcome.

  • Trim shrubs, bushes and trees.
  • Repair broken downspouts and gutters.
  • If it’s appropriate for your yard, apply new mulch, river rock and/ or pea gravel.
  • Clean and repair concrete areas such as driveways and walkways. Be sure to eliminate any oil or grease stains and remove any weeds coming through the cracks.
  • Spruce up the front with some new flower pots with bright colored flowers and a welcome mat.
  • Make sure the house numbers are easy to see an in a style that complements your home.
  • While listed, keep the yard mowed, weeds pulled and the front of your home and the porch, patio and deck swept.

Clean– This requires more than the weekly cleaning. Clean all surfaces, dust fan blades and window trim and blinds as well as floor trim. Clean the windows and make appliances sparkle.

Declutter and Organize– Less is more. Get rid of any piles of stuff as well as bulky furniture. Don’t forget the closets, the less you have in them, the more spacious they appear. Clutter makes a home look messy. Put away personal items, such as family pictures so buyers can see themselves in your space.

“Walk through your home with the eyes of a buyer and notice what improvements need to be made,” suggests Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.

DIY improvements-This includes touch up paint on scuff marks, fixing loose door or cabinet handles and knobs, replacing burned out lightbulbs or fixing a running toilet. You might consider replacing outdated fixtures as well.

Spruce up décor-Keep décor simple. Repaint a bold wall color, a neutral. Remove unusual artwork from the walls, this helps potential buyers visualize better. Buy new towels, bath rugs and candles for the bathroom and close the toilet lid.

Smell– Bad smells can be a deal breaker. Remove lingering smells from last night’s taco dinner or Fluffy’s litter box. Try burning a vanilla candle.

The post Preparing your house to sale appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/5/2018

Recently, an 11-ft. alligator made its way into a homeowner’s swimming pool in Sarasota, FL after busting through the patio screen.

A seven-ft. alligator caused a traffic jam on Easter Sunday in Jacksonville, while trying to cross Interstate 295.

Warmer weather is bringing out alligators.

“Most Floridians have seen an alligator lurking around, especially golfers,” comments Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

In 2017, the Statewide Alligator Nuisance Program (SNAP), received 13, 210 nuisance alligator complaints resulting in the removal of 8, 455 nuisance alligators.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), This once endangered species, has a healthy and stable alligator population estimated at 1.3 million in a variety of sizes just in Florida. In addition, alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida

An important part of Florida’s wetlands and eco-system, alligators become more active when the temperature rises and their metabolism increases. Mating season is from April – June.

“While alligators are a part of the Florida landscape, you certainly want to keep your distance,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Alligators are unique, in the fact they that inhabit land and water. This feature also makes them very dangerous. American zookeeper, Jack Hanna says an alligator can outrun all human creatures within the first 20-30 feet of exiting the water, making it very difficult for humans to outrun alligators.

The Key West Aquarium, has advice for living with alligators:

Avoid feeding an alligator, it is dangerous and illegal.

Stay at a safe distance of at least 50 feet away.

Do not approach an alligator to take a selfie.

Avoid checking to see if an alligator is alive.

Before entering a freshwater stream, lake or spring, check around. Alligators are often around even if you don’t see them.

Keep pets on a leash and away from the water.

Steer clear of water at night.

If one bites you, make as much noise as possible. Work hard to get away, use force and try poking at their eyes.

People with concerns about an alligator can call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

 

 

 

 

The post Here come the alligators appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/21/2018

National Marine Manufacturers Association reports boat sales have increased every year for the past six years. Florida leads in boat sales and this year is expected to be no different, due to a surge in consumer spending as well as an increase in affordable boating options to hit the market.

“Technology has influence everything including boat design,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

So, what new trends can you expect to see out on the water this year? We will preview some of the most popular designs.

Digital dashboards

Dashboards have gone touchscreen and include mobile adaptions. These streamlined multi-functioned displays control the stereo, fish finder, gas levels, map position and GPS. The high definition screens can go up to 24 inches. They are designed to be viewed from any angle and do not block out when viewed through polarized lenses. Boating Magazine details additional electronics that are hot this year.

Pontoon boats

Pontoon boats are going upscale. Comfortable seating, the ability to accommodate so many and the convenient dock level entry gate, make pontoon boats universally appealing. Builders are offering painted tubes to prevent discoloration, music streaming abilities, mood lighting, wake board towers, barbeques and wet bars. Performance models keep up with speed boats, while twin engine and even triple engine pontoons, with up to 900 horsepower on the transom, really move.

Deck boats

Deck boats are coming back thanks to outward-powered designs. Outward-powered deck boats are more affordable and offer more interior space.

Flooring

Builders are finally ripping out the carpet and trading it for synthetic flooring. The new synthetic flooring is non-skid, quick drying and durable. Eliminating mold and rotted floors.

Ventilated storage lockers

With ventilated storage lockers, your gear doesn’t have to fight rust and mold. These news lockers include a power fan and utilize a timer.

LED Lighting

LED lighting is replacing the old bulb system. It is fully sealed to eliminate corrosion. LED lights last considerably longer while consuming little power to avoid battery drain. A variety of colors are available to express your style.

“Many homeowners, mistakenly assume that their boat is covered under their homeowner’s insurance,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent boat insurance agency.

“Depending on your homeowner’s insurance policy, you might have limited coverage on a small vessel on your property. Boat insurance is highly recommended to protect you, your passengers and the boat as well as any new equipment and upgrades, reminds Buck.

The post 2018 Boating Trends appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/14/2018

This year’s legislative session was unique. The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School prompted action from lawmakers, shifting the agenda toward the end. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s Legislature passed the fewest bills in two decades. The lack of progress could be due to the unexpected gun debate that took place. In response, legislators passed gun-control measures for the first time in 20 years.

Many of the same issues, along with some new debates were brought up again among lawmakers. Let’s look at what passed and what fell short.

FAILED

A bill to repeal the no-fault auto insurance system, requiring drivers to carry personal injury or PIP Coverage.

“Florida lawmakers have argued over eliminating PIP and replacing it with a fault-based system for years. It seems to never gain enough momentum to become law,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance company.

An effort to ban fracking, the controversial oil- and natural- gas drilling process.

A ban to red-light cameras.

A proposal allowing law enforcement officers to pull people over for texting while driving. A practice, the National Safety Council reports causes 1,600,000 accidents a year.

Creation of new specialty license tags.

Guns at church.

PASSED

Tax cuts by $168.6 million- including a property tax break for homeowners displaced by hurricane Irma and nursing homes that purchase electrical generators. It also includes back-to-school holiday exempting sales tax on clothing and school supplies and reduces sales tax on business rents.

“It adds an 18 percent reduction in penalties for non-criminal traffic infractions for drivers who attend driving school,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance company.

Permanent daylight saving time.

Permits trained school employees to carry concealed weapons in school, raises the age requirement for gun purchases from 18 to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for rifles and other long guns, allows police to seize weapons from those who pose a danger to themselves and others, and bans the sale of bump stocks.

A bill to make threats of mass shooting and terrorist attacks a second-degree felony.

Expansion of mental health services in public school.

K-12 -Creates voucher-like scholarships to pay for students who are bullied in public schools so they can attend private schools. Requires all schools to visibly display the Florida state motto, “In God We Trust,” and allows tenants of commercial property to direct tax revenue of up to $57.5 million in rent into the account of two scholarship programs.

More money for the state’s Bright Future’s merit scholarship program.

A homeowners’ insurance policy must visibly state that hurricane insurance does not include flood insurance.

Creation of the first Florida Slavery Memorial built on Capitol grounds.

Prescription limits on opioids and money for addiction treatment.

A resolution declaring pornography a health risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Winners and Losers from the 2018 Florida Legislature appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/7/2018

Self-storage is a $38 billion a year industry. According to Sparefoot, an online source for self-storage information, over nine percent of households rent a self-storage unit. While Floridians spend an average of $88.68 a month on storage unit rent.

The Self-Storage Association reports half of all units are rented for a year. Many people find storage units a temporary solution during a move or while in transition. “A lack of attics and basements in Florida homes might leave you short on storage space,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

However, not all storage rentals are temporary. 30 percent rent for two years or more. Of longer term renters, fifty percent are simply storing what does not fit in their home.  And others have sentimental items they emotionally cannot deal with. While some are storing items they no longer need or even want. Often, long term self-storage renters forget what is in the storage unit.

Whether you appreciate your self-storage unit or loathe it, make sure your items are insured. Before renting a storage unit, contact your insurance agent or review your homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy may protect your items in storage.

“When you sign up to rent a storage unit, the self-storage company may try to sell you insurance, but chances are you already covered,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.

Check if your policy covers items that are stored at an alternate location other than your home. While a renters insurance policy or homeowners policy will cover your belongings, it might not cover them as fully as the ones kept in your home.

Stored belongings might only be covered by a small percentage. A homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy usually protects personal property up to 10 percent of the amount of coverage in your policy.

Exclusions your homeowners or renters policy might not cover include flood or water damage, mold and mildew as well as losses incurred from the failure to maintain the unit properly, which is the responsibility of the storage company.

If you are storing a valuable collection, you might require a personal liability or umbrella policy for additional coverage and peace of mind.  If you plan to keep a vehicle, motorcycle or ATV, you will most likely require separate auto insurance.

To properly safeguard your things selecting a storage facility to suit you and your belongings. Make sure to look for the following when shopping for a unit.

Gated facilities

24/7 security camera

Keypad access or a lock with short arms resistant to bolt cutters

Inspect the unit for pests or leaks before renting.

Choose a climate controlled unit that will protect against mold and mildew.

Do an inventory of what you have in storage along with the estimated value of each item and a picture.

The post Self-storage, a blessing or a curse? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/21/2018

Across the country hearts are heavy, grieving the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “These tragedies impact our communities-our parents, our children, our school professionals, our first responders-the mental health of our whole country,” reminds the professionals with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Even if someone is not involved directly traumatic events, especially within our state, burden our hearts and minds,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance provider.

Many people experience sadness, anxiety or anger. Some have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating. Their minds are dominated by the details of the event. These symptoms typically decrease over time.

Effective and healthy ways to cope during this time include:

Talking to your children about the incident, discuss how it makes them feel.

Limit news and social media exposure. Continuous exposure causes a person to relive the trauma. Also, descriptions and images in the media can cause fear in kids going to school.

Maintain your normal routine.

Connect with people in positive ways. Talk with people and take the time to listen to others. Tell people you care about that you love them.

“Doing something for others can help you channel stressful feelings,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance provider.

However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), points out that in some cases the anxiety will continue and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to experience the effects of trauma, it is important to get professional help. Signs to look for include the following:

  • Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad or fearful
  • Crying often
  • Having trouble thinking clearly
  • Having frightening thoughts
  • Feeling angry
  • Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories and responses.

Our world seems to be experiencing tragedy and stress on a more frequent basis. Be sure to slow down and be kind to yourself as well as others.

The post Coping with tragedy appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.